Signature Jahn

Shoulder Press Technique

The shoulder press, often referred to as an overhead press or front press, is one of the most challenging basic exercises on which effective strength training must be built. It doesn’t matter if you want to build muscle, lose weight and define your muscles, or just get ready. These challenging and functional exercises always provide a good foundation for your workouts.

Shoulder pressure is often underestimated in these exercises. Under pushing exercises, it is often overshadowed by the much more popular bench press. In terms of its complexity and functionality, the upper press is in no way inferior to the bench press. This is not because of the effectiveness of the shoulder press, but most likely because the bench press can move more weight. It is also more popular to focus on strong breasts. Strong shoulders are also the centerpiece of the body shape that most athletes strive for.

Now pressing on the shoulder (especially) with a barbell is not a particularly easy exercise. In addition, the musculoskeletal system of the shoulder is relatively prone to injury and signs of wear and tear. Some of them happen quickly, others only after years of poor preparation. For this reason, many longtime strength and bodybuilding athletes have shoulder problems at some point.

You want to take advantage of shoulder pressure and minimize your risk of injury, then read the rest of this article. Here you can find out among others:

After reading, you should know enough about it in order to use overhead presses with a clear conscience, understand the benefits and benefit from it in the learning process

Why shoulder pressure is part of your workout plan

Drei gute Gründe für Schulterdrücken in Deinem Trainingsplan

As mentioned earlier, head loading is one of the hardest basic exercises and therefore one of the foundations of good strength training. In addition to the bench press and barbell rowing, this is one of three exercises in this group that focus on the muscle chains of the upper body. There are several good reasons for this, of which I would like to present the three most important in my opinion.

Reason 1: The shoulder press is very functional

Overhead pushing is perhaps the most functional basic exercise besides the deadlift. Raising the crowd overhead is an absolutely natural movement that occurs constantly in everyday life and, above all, has always happened historically. Pressing the shoulder simulates and trains a sequence of movements that matches the natural movement of your body.

Reason 2: Upper abs promote healthy and attractive body shape and posture

The upper press is performed while standing. A stable and healthy posture is essential for the safe movement of heavy weights. This is directly related to the advancement of muscles, which is necessary for such a healthy posture. This, in turn, leads to improved attitudes in all situations. In addition, this exercise will also help you get strong, broad shoulders. This is an important part of the figure that most men need.

Reason 3: Most of the muscles are used for pressure on the shoulders

The Barbell Shoulder Press is probably a barbell exercise that maximizes the use of your upper body muscles. For example, while you’re only on the bench with a bench press that offers you extra stability, overhead presses have a lot more muscle to work to stabilize you and the overhead weight.

Which muscles do you train when you press overhead

The shoulder press is one of the most difficult basic exercises. This means that a large number of muscles are involved in the movement. Your shoulders and triceps are primarily responsible for handling weight.

Schulterdrücken - Überkopfdrücken - beteiligte Muskeln

For all those who would like to know something more precise, the following muscles are especially involved in the movement:

  • Shoulder muscles – musculus deltoideus
  • Triceps – triceps brachii
  • Trapezius muscle – Trapezius muscle
  • Upper pectoralis major muscle – musculuas pectoralis major
  • Anterior sawtooth muscle – serratus anterior

In addition, other muscles support and stabilize movement.

As you can see, classic front presses require a lot of muscle. So don’t underestimate this exercise.

Shoulder Press – Points of Interest

Many athletes experience discomfort or even pain in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or lower back when pressing on their shoulders. This is mostly due to poor technique.

As a difficult basic exercise, pressing the shoulder is not a simple exercise that often includes several basic mistakes. But don’t worry: good pressure technique is not very difficult to master if you follow a few basic rules. There are basically three things you should definitely pay attention to.

Shoulder Press Technique Rule 1: Steady Stance

Stability and controlled performance are essential for all basic exercises. However, top pressing takes a special place here. The exercise is extremely tempting to gain momentum, and this makes the exercise significantly less effective for the shoulders. At the same time, it increases the risk of injury.

Therefore, when performing the exercise, always keep your legs straight and strain your torso. Thus, you are not even tempted to get any boost from it. For this reason, this exercise is sometimes referred to as strict abs.

Note. There is no leg movement when pushing the shoulders. Concentrate on your upper body workout. After all, we’re not here for Olympic weightlifting.

Abs Rule 2: Elbow Under Barbell

Reach a little more shoulder width for maximum shoulder activation and make sure your elbows are always upright under the barbell throughout the movement. Sooner or later, you will get obvious deviations in the form of problems with elbows or wrists.

Correct range of motion only as much as you can. This is physiologically individual, and also depends on your reach. Don’t be sure that your range of motion isn’t wide enough if you can no longer keep your elbows upright under the barbell.

Shoulder Press Technique Rule 3: Vertical Barbell Trajectory

The path of the dumbbell is vertical up and down. The dumbbell track is not inclined and in no case has the shape of a curve. This is a vertical line.

For this to work without the barbell getting stuck on your head and hurting you, you should avoid moving the barbell with your head. It’s a little weird at first and takes some practice. If you can handle this, you can safely and safely carry much more weight.

Bonus tip: check your execution regularly and adjust

As always, the same applies to shoulder pressure: quality and safety thanks to regular checks. If you have a training partner, always let them pay attention to your technique. Have him check that the above rules are being followed and, in turn, check that they are being followed. It is best if you always let him shoot a video of your technique. This way you can see your performance again directly. I also regularly shoot such videos with my cell phone camera. This way you help each other become better and maintain clean technique after training.

You may think you don’t need this if you have mastered the pure technique, but trust me, even if you really pay attention to your own execution, you can often see things from the outside that you would overlook. In addition, bugs love to fall asleep over and over again, which otherwise you would not have noticed for a long time. This way you have a chance to take countermeasures early. This is also one of the reasons why I continue to record videos even when I train alone.

If you pay attention to these things, then you will make progress in a very short time and quickly feel pain in your shoulders than most people who train in German gyms. Above all, however, you will train your shoulders safely and beneficially.

shoulder press options

You may be interested in alternative exercises. The reasons for this can be different. You may not have a barbell at your home gym (yet). Perhaps you need a simpler, safer alternative to start with. However, you might just want to add variety to your workout plan. All understandable reasons why I think the shoulder press is a quick learning exercise. Once learned and done correctly, it is very safe, functional, and therefore useful.

What exercises can you do as an alternative to the overhead press? here I want to present four obvious options and say a few words about them.

Dumbbell (or kettlebell) shoulder press

Probably the most obvious alternative, and probably the smartest option. In fact, it makes sense to start with dumbbells. Some good trainers advise you to first learn the dumbbell movement and then transfer it to the barbell. The movement is slightly different because here the wrists can rotate slightly with a movement that matches the natural pattern of movement.

Overhead press with resistance bands

As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of training with Thera or other resistance groups. Before I got dumbbells for my home gym, I already had a range of resistance bands. The main reason for this is that they can be used perfectly on the go. When I put my trainers and several of these straps in my suitcase, I always have a reliable mobile gym.

The advantage and disadvantage of the variant with such belts is the load curve. The more the tape is stretched, the greater the resistance. This means that the muscles are tense in a slightly different way. As a complement, I think it’s good to add a little extra power to the top trapezoid. However, if I have the opportunity to train with dumbbells at home, I build my workouts on the shoulders.

Seated Shoulder Press

Regardless of whether you press on your shoulder while sitting with dumbbells or a barbell (or multiple weights), you always shorten the kinetic chain. The part of your body that is involved in movement decreases and the exercise becomes less functional. In addition, the mobility of your shoulder during movement is not optimal if you are leaning against the back.

You may be able to increase the weight a little this way because you can also use more of your pectoral muscles. These can all be good for your ego, but they are not good for the desired training effect and especially not for your shoulders. For this reason, I no longer do the bench press while sitting.

Machine Shoulder Press

I cannot recommend this option. Here you have the disadvantages of pressing the shoulder while sitting, and even more since the path of the lever of the lever is predetermined. This usually does not fit the natural pattern of movement. Basically, this is almost an isolation exercise, and of course it is not the isolation exercise I would first write in the training plan.

In my opinion, these were the most important alternatives to shoulder pressure. If you would like to write more about one or more of these or other exercises, please write me a comment or send me a message on my Facebook account or my Instagram profile. You can also write to me there if you have any other questions, requests or suggestions for an article here on the blog.

Your conclusion on pressing the shoulder

After reading this article, I hope that you are now aware of the many benefits of the printing press and will regularly use it in your workouts in the future. You should now know what to look for in order to perform it safely and safely and achieve the desired success.

If you want to know more about how to do these and other basic exercises correctly, I can give you the book Starting Strength by Mark Rippeto Recommend *. From this book I have learned a lot about the performance and benefits of basic exercises. In addition, I also attended some training seminars, so I no longer see everything 100% the way he does. However, I still think the book is a valuable basic reading.

For the rest there are the most important other basic exercises: the cross on the legs, squats, bench press and paddle barbell Also there are similar articles here on my blog in which I also focused on the absolute basics.

If you don’t want to waste time and start building muscle properly, I can also recommend my book The Basics of Building Muscle. This gives you a quick overview of everything that really matters if you want to build muscle. This is the first true “Don’t bullshit” guide to effective muscle building. (For the best workouts, we recommend ordering cabergoline online Depending on the package, there are also several tried and tested muscle building workout plans from which you can choose the one that suits you.

Good luck with your training!

Signature Jahn

And don’t forget: your health is your health.

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